Top 5 Games of Last Week (10/20/14-10/26/14)
Quite the week in sports. If you missed it, there were great games in college football, the NFL, MLB and soccer. Believe me, it was not easy making this list.
#5. Barcelona at Real Madrid
“El Clasico” did not disappoint. Facing the three-headed monster of Messi, Neymar and – debuting for the first time this season on Sunday – Luis Suarez, Real Madrid wasn’t given much of a chance. Even without Suarez to start the season, Barcelona hadn’t lost a match. Put another way, they hadn’t lost in 776 minutes. They hadn’t even conceded a single goal. So when Suarez found Neymar in the opening minutes, Neymar heading it in, you had to excuse the 75,000 Madrid fans who fell silent. They probably thought the game was over. But thanks to Ronaldo, Pepe and Benzema’s goals, Real Madrid came back to win 3-1. Turns out Real Madrid might have a three-headed monster of their own.
#4. Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers
It’s easy to point to the Seahawks losses this year and conclude that they aren’t the same team they were a year ago. Heck, add the rumblings of unrest and division from the locker room, and it’s even easier. I get it. But don’t forget these two crucial counterpoints: first, as Super Bowl winners, the Seahawks have to confront each opponent’s very best shot. I guarantee no team gets more riled up than before playing the Seahawks – it provides a benchmark for your team: where do we stand? And second, they’re quarterback is now one of the top five at his position in the NFL. It wasn’t that way last year, but it is now. The Seahawks offensive identity is based on the run, sure, but it’s in transition as Wilson emerges as one of the best in the league. Sunday, down three with minutes left on the clock, Wilson drove his team down the field, completing 4-of-4 passes and finding tight end Luke Willson for the game-winning touchdown.
#3. Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: The Arizona Cardinals are better than you think. Yeah, that message has pretty much been drummed into my head at this point, and yet they’re still surprising me. Down three points with under two minutes to play, the Cardinals didn’t just go for the first down and the field goal – they went for the 75-yard bomb to win the game. The new message out of Arizona? The Cardinals might be the best team in the NFL.
#2. Detroit Lions at Atlanta Falcons
The Lions won this game, 22-21. If you watched, you know this shouldn’t have happened, for any number of reasons really. If Julio Jones had caught the ball in Atlanta’s final drive, for instance, the Lions probably wouldn’t have had enough time to drive the ball down the field. Or if the Lions hadn’t gotten that delay of game penalty right before Matt Prater’s kick, which allowed him to practice the kick. What do you know – like every other Lions kicker this year, Prater missed. If the kick had counted – if the Lions had gotten the play off on time – Lions kickers would’ve fallen to 7 0f 18 kicks on the year. Gulp. Instead, Prater got a redo, and nailed it from 48-yards out. Down 21 points in the first half, the Lions came back to win it. Londoners, you definitely got your money’s worth with this game. On average, you paid just $118.64 to see one of the best games of the year, and the clear bang-for-your-buck game of the week. How happy are you it didn’t involve Jacksonville, eh?
#1. World Series, Game 4 – Kansas City Royals at San Francisco Giants
Average ticket price: $993.89. Worth it? Totally. Here’s what you don’t want to see as KC’s bullpen takes the field in the fifth inning if you’re the Giants: a three-run deficit. Facing that, versus those players? You’d have better luck wrestling chum away from Jaws. Three times. And yet that’s what the Giants did, scoring two in the fifth to pull within one and three in the sixth to take the lead. They never looked back, pulling away for an 11-4 victory.